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09 March 201515:03

Pool Stages, Final Week Scenarios

In Pool B, Pakistan’s upset win over South Africa ensured the battle for the top four remained wide open.

Pool Stages, Final Week Scenarios - Cricket News
New Zealand’s commanding win over Afghanistan on Sunday was its fifth victory from as many matches and sealed its spot on top of Pool A.

Likewise, Australia has secured its place in the quarter finals courtesy of its win over Sri Lanka, while Sri Lanka is also likely to stay in the four, setting up a make-or-break match for England against Bangladesh in Adelaide tomorrow.

In Pool B, Pakistan’s upset win over South Africa ensured the battle for the top four remained wide open.

Currently, only India has guaranteed a spot in the knock-out stages from Pool B, while South Africa is also in the box seat to advance. Ireland, Pakistan and West Indies are looking set to battle for the final two spots.

Pool A

Remaining matches:
England v Bangladesh, Adelaide, March 9
Sri Lanka v Scotland, Hobart, March 11
New Zealand v Bangladesh, Hamilton, March 13
England v Afghanistan, Sydney, March 13
Australia v Scotland, Hobart, March 14

New Zealand (played 5, won 5, lost 0, points: 10)

ew Zealand’s spot in the quarter finals is signed, sealed and delivered. Sri Lanka’s loss to Australia means the Black Caps could not be dislodged from top spot and with an enormous net run rate and one match remaining against Bangladesh, the Black Caps will finish on top of Pool A and play the fourth-ranked Pool B qualifier – likely to be either Ireland, West Indies or Pakistan – in Wellington on Saturday March 21st.

Australia (played 5, won 3, lost 1, no result 1, points: 7)

After winning Sunday’s crucial match against Sri Lanka, Australia’s place in the quarter finals is assured. All Australia needs to do now to secure a second-placed finish in Pool A is defeat winless Scotland in Hobart on Sunday.

With South Africa likely to finish second in Pool B despite its loss to Pakistan, securing second spot in Pool A sets up an Adelaide Oval quarter-final for Australia against either Ireland, Pakistan or West Indies.

Sri Lanka (played 5, won 3, lost 2, points: 6)

A win against Australia on Sunday would have meant Sri Lanka’s place in the quarter finals was assured. However, all that now stands between Sri Lanka and the finals is winless Scotland, so it is more than likely they will progress.

However, a win over Scotland will now only be enough for Sri Lanka to finish third in the group unless Australia is upset by the same opponent in Hobart on Wednesday.

If Sri Lanka also loses to Scotland, England and Bangladesh could both pose threats. If England wins both of its remaining matches - against Bangladesh and Afghanistan – by decent margins and if Bangladesh loses to England but upsets New Zealand, Sri Lanka could miss the finals all together.

Sri Lanka will play its quarter final at the SCG, so finishing third sets up a likely clash with South Africa.

Bangladesh (played 4, won 2, lost 1, no result 1, points: 5)

Bangladesh has two big matches ahead of it against England and New Zealand but just one win will be enough to ensure a place in the quarter finals, thanks to the point it picked up from the wash-out against Australia.

If it loses both games, it will rely on England losing to Afghanistan to progress. A fourth-placed finish would likely see it play India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

England (played 4, won 1, lost 3, points: 2)

England has been lacklustre throughout the tournament to date with its sole win coming against Scotland. It needs to win both of its remaining matches to make the finals and even then it might not be enough, they start with the crucial match against Bangladesh in Adelaide.

Even if it wins that, it will still need to defeat Afghanistan and hope Bangladesh does not upset New Zealand in order to advance.

Depending on NRR, England could even overtake Sri Lanka if it loses to Scotland this week, but a major upset would be required. A fourth-placed finish would likely see England play India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Afghanistan (played 5, won 1, lost 4, points: 2)

Afghanistan registered a historic first World Cup victory against Scotland but its first quarter-finals appearance will not happen in 2015. It does have the chance to upset England at the SCG and end its hopes of making the knock-out stages, however.

Scotland (played 4, won 0, lost 4, points: 0)

Winless from four World Cup matches, Scotland cannot advance. But with matches against Sri Lanka and Australia remaining, the Scots have a chance to cause a major upset and throw one or both teams into disarray before the final stages.

Pool B
Remaining matches:
India v Ireland, Hamilton, March 10
South Africa v United Arab Emirates, Wellington, March 12
India v Zimbabwe, Auckland, March 14
West Indies v United Arab Emirates, Napier, March 15
Pakistan v Ireland, Adelaide, March 15

India (played 4, won 4, lost 0, points: 8)

India is undefeated after four matches and cannot drop outside the top four. It is also unlikely to be removed from the top of Pool B, with just one win needed from its final two matches against Ireland Zimbabwe to secure outright top spot.

Finishing first means India will play the fourth-ranked team in Pool B in a quarter final, most likely to be either England or Bangladesh with the game in Melbourne on Thursday March 19th.

South Africa (played 5, won 3, lost 2, points: 6)

South Africa’s rollercoaster World Cup continued against Pakistan on Saturday when it tumbled to a 29-run loss. Twice, the Proteas have scored more than 400 runs this tournament, but they have also been skittled for 177 and 202. That said, South Africa’s only remaining match is against the winless United Arab Emirates.

With a comfortable NRR of +1.462, a win against UAE will see the Proteas finish in second spot. But an upset loss could see them finish third if Pakistan defeat Ireland, or, in a less likely scenario, if West Indies has an enormous win over UAE and manages to lift itself above the Proteas on NRR.

Technically, the Proteas could finish as low as fourth (if Ireland defeated India and Pakistan beat Ireland) or even miss the play-offs all together (if the Windies managed that enormous UAE win), but in all likelihood South Africa will finish second and play the third-ranked team from Pool A; likely to be Sri Lanka in Sydney.

Pakistan (played 5, won 3, lost 2, points: 6)

Pakistan’s win over South Africa has made its path to the finals a much steadier one. A win over Ireland next Saturday will seal the deal, but even if it loses, West Indies would need a large win over UAE to sneak ahead on NRR.

With both matches to take place just hours apart on either side of the Tasman, the pool stage is set for an exciting finish.

Finishing third would most likely set up a clash with Australia in Adelaide, while the team which finishes fourth in Pool B will play New Zealand in Wellington.

Ireland (played 4, won 3, lost 1, points: 6)

Ireland has had a strong World Cup to date and has two matches left up its sleeve coming into the final week of pool matches.

Wins in both games against India and Pakistan would seal a spot in the knock outs and second spot on the table.

Even one win against either India or Pakistan will be enough to finish third or fourth or possibly second depending upon other results. Ireland would also be safe if it lost both matches and West Indies were upset by UAE. But two losses and a win to the Windies will see Ireland finish fifth thanks to its poor NRR; a result of the thrashing at the hands of South Africa and narrow wins against UAE and Zimbabwe.

West Indies (played 5, won 2, lost 3, points: 4)

West Indies have shown they can be very good or they can struggle during their first five matches. After starting the tournament with a disappointing four-wicket loss to Ireland, they followed up by thrashing Pakistan.

A big win over Zimbabwe, led by Chris Gayle’s 215, followed, before they were smashed by the Proteas in Sydney three days later. A disappointing batting performance and subsequent loss to India in Perth followed.

However, West Indies’ last remaining match is against UAE and they can still make the play-offs. If Ireland lose their two remaining games and the Windies beat UAE, the quarter finals beckon due to their superior NRR.

In a less likely scenario, the Windies could also make it on NRR if they beat UAE and Pakistan lose to Ireland, but big margins would be needed on either side for it to happen.

Zimbabwe (played 5, won 1, lost 4, points: 2) Zimbabwe’s loss to Pakistan was a major blow to its hopes of making the knock outs and the loss to Ireland on Saturday made it a done deal. Zimbabwe can try and salvage some pride by upsetting India in its final match of the tournament.

United Arab Emirates (played 4, won 0, lost 4, points: 0) United Arab Emirates has played five matches for three losses, but the Associate team can at least be happy in the knowledge it was more than competitive in its first two matches.

It can also have a say in the final make-up of the top four, as upset wins against either South Africa or West Indies would cause havoc in the quarter-final scenarios.

Remember you can follow every single ball of the rest of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 right here at the home of #cwc15 or by downloading the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 App.